Thursday, October 15, 2020


       This is the fifth in our

           Fall Series


           living out 



            HEADS UP!

 We're in for a real workout 

       in what follows.

Dear All of Us, 

    All right!

    In fact,

"Radical Right"

      it is 

and that for sure.

 "Radical Right"


   has nothing 

to do with political 


It has everything 

to do with spiritual 


     with being  

    "Soul Right."


    the center 


     the start 

  radically right 

and our spiritual lives

      will be

    "ALL" Right

from there on out.

That's how Jesus 

steers us right

in this next part of 

   The Sermon 

  On The Mount.

Matthew 5:27-30

What he says here is strong.

He speaks as an ancient Jew -

blunt, pushing the point.

What we moderns would take 

as exaggeration,

as excessive,

was their way of

emphasizing importance.

These were regular

literary forms of speech

understood for emphasis 

not for factuality

nor literal interpretation.

Jesus uses the temptation 

to adultery as a launch 

on how to be real and right 

about any and everything 

that would draw us off center,

that would tempt us to be

unreal, foiled and fouled in life:


  "You know the next 

   commandment pretty

   well, too:

   'Don't go to bed 

   with another's spouse.'

   But don't think 

   you've preserved 

   your virtue simply by 

   staying out of bed.

   Your heart can 

   be corrupted 

   by lust even quicker 

   than your body.

   Those leering looks 

   you think nobody notices- 

   they also corrupt.

   Let's not pretend 

   this is easier 

   than it really is.

   If you want to live 

   a morally pure life,

   here's what you have to do: 

   You have to blind 

   your right eye the moment 

   you catch it in a lustful leer.

   You have to choose 

   to live one-eyed 

   or else be dumped 

   on a moral trash pile.

   And you have to chop off 

   your right hand

   the moment you notice it 

   raised threateningly. 

   Better a bloody stump than 

   your entire being discarded 

   for good in the dump.

    The Message Translation


Tough talk.

Let's scope this out.

In these three short verses

Jesus speaks volumes 

to our souls on





its flow forth 

 from there.


the sentiment, 

the intention,

the attitude


Soul Center

pure, clear 

right and real,

and so it will be 

in all the particulars 

of lived out practice.

From the get go, 

Jesus tells us,

cut off and out 

any and everything 

that fouls soul center 

and thus all that

flows from it.

In this section 

of the sermon

 Jesus insists 

    we be

Radical Right 

 about the 




in particular, 

as well as about 

all temptation 

in its multiple




Jew Jesus spits it out 

hard, loud and clear.

Having a lustful 


is adultery before ever 

bed and deed.

So, clean it up inside 

and all the way out.

That goes for all, 

any and every

occasion of sin, e.g. 

"And you have to

 chop off 

your right hand 

the moment 

you notice it raised 


Matthew 5:30).

So it is with 

every temptation,

any sort of pull toward

"missing the mark", 


being off center,

of loosing our balance

when it comes to being

genuine and real.

So, in all sectors of life,

not just adultery,

we excise any relationship,

activity, habit, disposition,

preference, passion, pattern,

value system, life style, 

systemic structure

that is an occasion of foul up, 

that draws us off being

        Radial Right, 

        Heart Right,

        Soul Center 

       clean and clear.

That means all and 

every one of them,

be they as much a part 

of us and our way of living 

as our right hand, our eye.

They must go if we are 

      to go on in life

      Real and Right.

Better to be restricted than 

lost, deadened, off the rails.

Yep, tough stuff.

Strongly put.

No two ways about it.

No two ways to be

   Radical Right

So, what, who's 

      gotta go

in us and our living

so we can "go" 

spiritually, really,

so we can actually live,

free and full,

     Radical Right

from center on outward?

Let's take ten with that

for starters - how about

ten hours?

No causal, comfy Christianity here.

Excising for clarity's freedom -

sexual and all otherwise - costs.

It may cost a relationship, 

job, wealth, position, 

prerogative, pleasure -

you name it

      - and we must -

then cut free

      - and we must.

I'll spare you and me 

the details,

but I know all this

from my own painful liberation. 

Yes, it hurts like hell

but it opens to 

some heavenlike living.

Jew Jesus is blunt, stark, 

unambiguous, forthright,


His is a prophet's push.

What he insists on for a person

goes for us as a people.

What societal operating systems

are radically wrong from the start

and thus they horribly wrong 

people and planet in practice?

What fouls and foils?

What needs excising?

Right now here in The States

some are beginning to more fully

and painfully address

the genocide and slavery

foundational and unresolved

to us as a people

and the continuing evil 

they reek.

We are hardly dealing with, 

much less excising,

the discounted valuation 

on human life that is

pervasively operative 

among us from

separating migrant children 

from their parents,

to unsafe working conditions, 

to excessive and 

non restorative incarceration, 

to the death penalty,

to the militarization of 

local "peace" officers.


Then there is capitalism.

  A great read here is

Pope Francis' new letter,

      Fratelli tutti

  (October 3, 2020)

Capitalism rewards 

an elite few,

favors some,

impoverishes masses

worldwide - 

a cultural, constricting 

caste system,

a dirty rotten shame,

an impurity 

that is a cheating on 

our bonded unity as humanity

(social and economic adultery).

Add to the list of concerns,

living in uncensored, soft, 

selfish sensuality - 

forty some varieties 

of breakfast cereals 

to choose from,

extravagant spending  

on adult toys and vacations,

luxuries taken as staples 

of daily living - 

soul dulling superficial sensations.

Example: endless hours 

in front of the tube

hazed over by 

too many Doritos 

and too much beer.

In the mean time -

and it sure is "mean" -

two million people 

right now are literally, actually 

starving to death worldwide -

        statistic from


       the folks who

     just received the

    Nobel Peace Prize.

One more for not at all 

good measure.

Too often domesticated, 

bleached, pale, wimpy, 

self serving institutional religion 

in bed with structures of 

preference, preferment and power, 

clerical domination and privilege,

watered down Gospel, 

ritual, rubrics, polity, dogmas 

crowding out vibrant community 

and deep spirituality.

OK, OK, I hear you!

So, yes I did have three cups 

of coffee this morning!

Admittedly intense today.

But, hey, we really need to

hear and head Jesus

about being centered right

and freed from invites to peril.

What may initially register

as restrictive and stern is, 

in happy and holy fact,

liberating and energizing.

A hokey, humble metaphor:

A race car needs 

clean, clear, pure fuel 

to fire its engines, 

to power them 

to excellence and victory.

So do we and our society

need clear, clean energy

to power us 


  in our living and 

its freedom to fulness.

All the above is just a start

at unpacking the power 

and the wisdom of Jesus

compacted in these 

three short verses.

As already noted, 

he uses the temptation 

to adultery for starters  

- sure to get our attention -

and then presses the need

to free up by cutting loose 

from whatever else,

such as raising a hand threateningly,

would draw us off center,

trip us up and thus down,

foiled and failed in life. 

"Enough already!"

I need to go 

pray for purity,

for rightness 

at my center point

and all the way out 

in my life practices.

I need to pray the same 

for all of us as a people.

I need to pray for us all

the grace and courage

to let God make us

personally and as a people,


  In God's Dear Love,

   Your exhausted 




       John Frank


  As always, a hearty


   to all joining us 

   for the first time

        here at

  "frankly speaking"

spirituality for the street

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           As we seek to


           on living out 

   The Sermon On The Mount,

    please let me recommend

  Jesus' Plan For A New World

  The Sermon On The Mount, 

Richard Rohr with John Feister,

      Franciscan Media, 1996

    ISBN 978-0-86716-203-5


     Have a heck of a week,

     freed and happy to be